Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward last month to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, released a scathing statement on Saturday ahead of his confirmation vote.
“Thirty-five years ago, the other students in the room chose to laugh and look the other way as sexual violence was perpetrated on me by Brett Kavanaugh,” wrote Ramirez, who has accused Kavanaugh of thrusting his penis in her face at a party when they were both students at Yale University.
“As I watch many of the Senators speak and vote on the floor of the Senate I feel like I’m right back at Yale where half the room is laughing and looking the other way,” she continued. “Only this time, instead of drunk college kids, it is US Senators who are deliberately ignoring his behavior.”
She went on to thank the witnesses who were not questioned by the FBI as part of its investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh. Ramirez herself was interviewed by the agency along with nine others, including a close friend of hers and two eyewitnesses to the incident. She criticized the FBI for not speaking to all of the people who she says could corroborate her story.
“There may be people with power who are looking the other way, but there are millions more who are standing together, speaking up about personal experiences of sexual violence and taking action to support survivors,” Ramirez said. “This is truly a collective moment of survivors and allies standing together.”
Ramirez’s full statement can be read here.
After weeks of tumult, the Senate is expected to vote to confirm Kavanaugh Saturday afternoon.
Kavanaugh had already completed a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where California professor Christine Blasey Ford went public with her accusation against him. Ford’s attorneys released a scathing statement after it became clear that Republicans had the votes to confirm Kavanaugh.
Both Ford and Kavanaugh were not interviewed as part of the FBI’s investigation, although certain witnesses to the alleged incident were.
Ford maintains that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982 and told her story before the committee late last month. In response to the accusation, Kavanaugh delivered angry and emotional prepared remarks accusing Democrats of concocting a political “hit job.” He received a slew of criticism for his tone, including retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who labeled Kavanaugh unfit for the nation’s highest court.
The office of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) went on the offensive by releasing statements this week intended to discredit Ford.
To address his critics directly, Kavanaugh published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal late Thursday explaining his behavior. He did not apologize.
On Friday, a handful of swing senators revealed how they intended to vote. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), whose hand-wringing over the Kavanaugh accusations sparked the FBI investigation, said he would support the judge. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined him, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), a red-state Democrat up for re-election in November.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will be the only member of her party to oppose the nominee.
Protesters have been staking out senators’ offices all week, leading chants, holding signs and sharing stories ― or attempting to ― of their own sexual assaults with elected representatives.